Last weekend we had a 15-year-old Chinese foreign exchange student with us. During a hike, we had lots of time to chat. He lives with his parents in Shanghai. His school day starts at 6:00am every day and ends at 6:00pm. After he comes home at night and has dinner with this family, he sits down and does homework. Yes, 12 hours of school, five days a week, plus homework, and then he goes in for additional lectures on the weekends. I do not know if this is customary for all schools – but it was for his.
Where do we think the “rise of China” comes from? Cheap labor, large population, abuse of workers in sweat shops?
But think again.